Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 11:08 UK

Vermeer painting in New York loan

Vermeer painted the oil on canvas in 1658

Vermeer's masterpiece The Milkmaid is to go on display in the US for the first time in 70 years.

The painting will be shown as part of an exhibition on the 17th-century Dutch artist at The Metropolitan Museum of Art next month.

The Milkmaid, dating from 1658, shows a milkmaid in a blue and yellow dress pouring milk from a jug into a bowl.

The painting is being loaned to the New York gallery next month by Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

It was last seen in the US at the 1939 World's Fair, in New York.

Five other works by Vermeer from the gallery's own collection will also go on display, as well as works by other Dutch painters.

Along with Rembrandt and Frans Hals, Vermeer is considered one of the greatest Dutch artists, however only 36 of his paintings survive today.

The exhibition opens September 10 and runs until November 29.

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